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ISSUE 34 ISSN 2164-7771 WWW.FOKUS.ORG/INSIGHT


Atiba T. Edwards

Founder & Chief Curator

Atiba is an engineer focused on making and connecting creative people, nodes, networks and moments.

Allison Martiza Lasky Curator

Allison believes that children are the best artists—they are individual universes of infinite creativity.

Emily Wen Curator

Emily enjoys the pleasure of aesthetics and in contemplating the meaning of life.

Jolillian "Jozi" Zwerdling Curator

Jozi finds inspiration in those who understand timelessness and travel in alternate dimensions.

Contributors

AuksOne / Michael Alan / Anirudh 'Eka' Dhullipalla / Atiba T. Edwards / Christian Ericson / Simone Frame / Jordan Kifer / Allison Maritza Lasky / Dolly Martinez / Kristine Palma / Kerff Petit-Frere / Kira Pearson / Gail Ressler / Filipa Silva / Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler / Stephanie Winbush / Jozi Zwerdling INSIGHT magazine is dedicated to showcasing the artists who are creating work today and shaping culture. We highlight artists from all art disciplines and artists from across the globe. FOKUS produces INSIGHT to provide just that - insight into the artists who are alive and creating art in traditional, nontraditional and emerging fields in their own way.

Questions, comments and submission inquiries can be sent to insightsubmit@gmail.com INSIGHT magazine is published by FOKUS, Inc. To view back issues, visit www.fokus.org/insight All rights reserved on entire contents. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in this agazine are those of the contributors and not necessarily shaed by the INSIGHT staff or FOKUS, Inc.


INSIGHT: COLOR AND LIGHT

INSIGHT magazine: Love Affairs Table of Contents

4 Atiba T. Edwards It's Hellbent 14 Jozi Zwerdling White Girl Wonders 15 Kerff Petit-Frere Goth Chick 16 Allison Maritza Lasky Shot to the Top 22 Atiba T. Edwards Ascend 24 Kira Pearson Untitled 26 Kira Pearson Untitled 28 Kira Pearson Untitled 30 Kira Pearson Girls 31 Christian Ericson Four Seasons in Kyoto 32 Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler Human Toll 34 Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler Glow Manhattan, glow 36 Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler Like a Wildfire 38 Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler Barely Earthly 40 Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler untitled 42 Kristine Palma Folds 44 Gail Ressler Play in Prospect Park 46 Simone Frame one 47 Simone Frame ONE 48 AuksOne Hand Eye Coordination 33 Stephanie Winbush Who Can Block Your Blessing 53 Michael Alan The Signature 55 Michael Alan Gather, process, bubble 56 Michael Alan Candice Print 57 Michael Alan Many things 58 Jordan Kifer Color Work 60 Filipa Silva Art Projects Hole 61 Filipa Silva Art Projects Equation 62 Filipa Silva Art Projects Twins 64 Jordan Kifer 5Pointz Spirit 66 Dolly Martinez My Electric Centric Logo

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Curator's Letter

by Atiba T. Edwards Can color be seen without a light that is white? Light gives things life and Color tells us if things are right Absence or abundance the result is still a color. Colors in the day Colors in the night Sadly some colors still give others fright. Atiba T. Edwards

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Tribal Configurations

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by Joseph Meloy

I think of this piece as a mashup of culture, time and space. It's futuristic and primitive at the same time, urban jungle meets actual jungle, somewhere in some dimension. It seems like a machine of some kind, but organic and alive, perhaps emanating some sort of pleasing soundscape. Joseph Meloy (b. 1982, New York City) coined the term Vandal Expressionism to tag his post-graffiti spin on AbEx and Surrealism. www.facebook.com/vandalexpressionism

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IT'S HELLBENT

by Atiba T. Edwards. Images courtesy of the artist

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I had the pleasure of meeting Hellbent during his installation for the Centrifuge public art project. We spoke a bit and this interview sheds light onto his style, origins and the way color and light factor into his work. Atiba T. Edwards: What is the origin and meaning of the name hellbent? Hellbent: I am a huge fan of Richard Hell. And was talking with a buddy and he said, "Richard Hell is the best punk name, no one can match it." Well, i was thinking about that for a while then Hellbent hit me, so i just went with it. It was ridiculously long for tag which i liked and i often did it in bubble letters in pastel colors, I liked the juxtoposition, this was bout 8 or 9 years ago. AE: How does color factor into your work? How do you go about choosing which colors to use? HB: Color is a huge part of my work. The more the better the piece is i say. People often comment how well I handle color, but the fact of the matter is I never really studied color theory, i really just like pushing colors together that might not seem to go together. When i started i was looking at a color wheel and thinking about how colors are made of other colors and trying to be scientific about it but that really did not last. I just start a 6 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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start a painting and start thinking about what is going to look nice next to whatever i already laid down. Not to say i am just slapping it down. I think long and hard bout the way the colors are going to react with each other, and when you add fluorescents into the equation it gets a little more complicated. With my pattern work, I am actually picking the color for back ground and pattern and so i am usually juggling at least 4 colors in two "shafts" so its a matter of trying to see how they all are going to handle each other. AE: What is the origin of your signature image, the mandible/lower jaw? HB: I started thinking bout the jaw after I read this story bout Freud. His jaw had been bothering him, so one day he deceided to go check it out. It was serious and the doctor had to operate immediately. The hospital was overcrowded and had to put him in broom closet to recover. His roommate in the closet happen to be a dwarf that was also recovering from some sort of surgery. While Freud was still unconscious he began hemmoraging and unable to scream out the dwarf ran out and found a doctor, saving INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 7


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his life. With this I began thinking about importance of jaw: speaking, eating, etc. also, I had scene how the skull had become co opted by major brands, it had become mainstream. But when I was growing up skulls and skeletons were apart of skate board graphics and punk bands. So by taking the jaw bone as my "character" I was taking it back from these major brands and bringing it back to its roots, or the orginal meeting it had for me. AE: Complete the phrase "Art is.." (you can use a word, image, or paragraph to answer what art is to you) HB: Art is freedom. when you are working on something and you get lost in it, time, hunger, obligations all dissolve and you are free of everything. You just want to see it complete, like the image that is in your head. The amazing thing it rarely turns out like what you have in yr minds eye and that is what is great. Its like a mathematical problem that only you know the answer to, and you know when its right. 10 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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White Girl Wonders

(After Roger Bonair-Agard’s Black Boy Blues)

by Jozi Zwerdling Is her umbrella the color of her true or weapon. love’s mouth. Has the girl learned to use either? Is she wearing it as ornament. or walking stick. Is the umbrella the color of a stranger’s mouth. Does the girl love the deer because she leaps? Does she have no true love. or because she stands still. Is the deer in a pack, Is red a warning sign? or alone. or a state of mind. Are there only females. Are there Does it turn her on. children. Were they born in a wash of red. Does she want to be agile and long Jozi Zwerdling hails from the Washington, D.C. area but lives in like the deer. Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Her passions are working with youth to Is the umbrella long and sharp. Is achieve social justice through education and the arts, collageing the girl curvy or round. and loving as an act of freedom. Does she feel as bewildered as the deer. Has she never been prey. Did her parents never smack her. Does she look at the road kill too long. Is red beautiful, or brutal. Is the deer innocent, or stupid. Does red demand privacy? or public. Does the deer wonder why she stops to stare. Is she admiring or lethal. Is the white girl trying to conceal the red tones? or embellish them. When she blushes is she pleased at the attention. Is she catching in headlights that are not directed at her. Is the deer crossing the road when it could have stayed still. Has it run out of natural predators? Will it suffocate its own fool self. Is the umbrella protection, 14 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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Infidelity Color

by Kerff Petit-Frere

Ink and digital color. 2013. 8.5 x 11 in.

Kerff Petit-Frere is a Brooklyn, NY-based Illustrator and an alumnus of Syracuse University's Illustration program. His illustrations have been featured in the Society of Illustrators 2011 student show and the JPMorganChase Student Showcase in Syracuse, New York. www.kerff-ink.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 15


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Shot to the Top

by Allison Maritza Lasky

At 22, my California-born cousin, Tessa, is in her final semester of college at Fordham, double majoring in Visual Arts and Philosophy as well as interning for a photography studio. For the past few years, she’s been an editor for an online artist community, seeking out talented up-and-coming artists whom she can interview and feature on the site. I got to catch up with Tessa a few weeks ago, and had the pleasure of seeing her in action. Allison Maritza Lasky: What are you AML: Since I’ve known you as a doing here in New York City? young adult, you don’t go anywhere without your camera and never fail Tessa Abrams: I am in NYC to fulfill to share snippets of your world with my four years as an undergraduate. the world. What's up with you and Although I applied to schools all over photography? the place, in the back of my mind I was always really set on New York. I TA: I am not sure when I started to realize that I cannot speak for most become interested in photography places, but out of the places that but it is definitely something I I have lived for extended periods greatly enjoyed for many years of time (LA, Italy, and NYC), NYC is before college. What I can tell you without a doubt the place where for certain is that my passion for dreams can be made into a reality. photography only really began to NYC has an infinite number of have a profound impact on my life opportunities that are all compacted once I took my first film-based photo into this small space. Although at class during my sophomore year times it is extremely overwhelming, at Fordham. Ever since then my lonely, and stressful, in the end it is interest in photography has more than worth the struggle. 16 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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continued to grow and evolve with grow and evolve with me throughout my college years. I have my camera with me at all times - just in case I come across a moment that I would otherwise regret for the rest of my life had I not been able to capture it. I tend to I spend a lot of my free time during the day entertaining myself by people watching and exploring the city by foot. Although there have definitely been moments when I was seriously frustrated to the point that I thought I would never touch a camera again, it never has lasted for more than maybe 5 minutes or so. The thing I have come to realize is that photography for me is something that I know that I will doing for the rest of my life. AML: There are so many genres of creative arts, why did you gravitate to strongly to photography? TA: Although this idea did not always have a conscious presence in my mind, I have come to realize over the years that a major reason why I have pursued photography over other artistic mediums is because of how heavily it depends

on things in the outside world that are beyond my control. More so than other types of art such as painting, design, drawing, etc., the information left out of the frame of a photograph often speaks louder than the information confined within the frame of the photograph. Photographs in this sense can be very powerful tools as they cause people’s minds to wander and contemplate various explanations that the image itself has left unanswered. Another reason why I love photography is the fact that having a good eye or a fancy camera alone is not sufficient for a photographer to produce something of any substantial quality. Consider, for example, a person who is at the wrong place at the right time, or who is at the right place at the wrong time, or any other type of variation in which all the elements necessary for taking a good photograph do not quite align: the results are just no good. Although having an eye for composition or a nice camera is definitely important to a certain extent, neither of these things will ever be able to INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 17


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compensate for the lack of success in an image. I love the fact that a great photograph is dependent upon the cooperation between all the elements that exist in the outside world beyond the photographer’s control and the exact moment in which the photographer chooses to capture his subject. AML: Does this issue's theme Color and Light – play a role in photography for you? What about art in general? TA: Strangely enough, I do not think color is always a particularly important aspect of photography. Most of my favorite photographers never lived to see a digital camera and worked with black and white film. Although on occasion, the interest in a photograph is colororiented, at times it can even take away from an image by being nothing but a distraction to the content. In contrast, light is my best friend. The quality of light in a photo often will either really hurt or really help the success of an image. I do think, however, that there are exceptions: a truly remarkable image should not be penalized because it was not in ideal lighting. Art in general is a very broad and ambiguous topic, but great works of art that I have come across all motivate me to try and maximize my resources and surroundings so that I can make sure to always be the best photographer I can be. AML: You’ve traveled the world and have discovered alcoves in NYC I’ve certainly never heard of – so when it comes to the point-and-shoot, where do you get your inspiration? TA: I find my inspiration in all sorts of things. Generally speaking, people in everyday life situations are what tend inspire me on a moment-to-moment basis. I love being able to capture instances, which essentially will be forgotten due to the fact that they lack any real significance in the scheme

of life but - for whatever reason or other - still managed to stand out to me as something worth documenting. In terms of famous photographers, French photographer Henri CartierBresson is hands down my alltime favorite. I am truly in awe of how brilliantly he mastered the art of being at the perfect place at the perfect time. The genius of his work is his ability to find fleeting instances of something extraordinary within the mundane occurrences of everyday life, and then to react to his observations fast enough to capture these moments before they had time to escape and become forgotten forever. Another major inspiration for me is Brandon Stanton, the creator and photographer behind Humans of New York. Mr. Stanton’s impact on my life goes far beyond the fact that he takes incredible portraits. Yes, the guy has some serious (and well-deserved) street cred, but what makes Mr. Stanton someone truly remarkable is his character. Despite his rapidly increasing worldwide influence, he has managed to always remain totally humble and with his heart in the right place. If you are trying to find someone who will completely restore your faith in all humanity, there is no need to look any further. Mr. Stanton’s photography serves as a reminder that there is love, beauty, and kindness in the world, even at times when it seems like such things no longer have a place in our world. AML: Are there any images you most enjoy capturing? TA: I most enjoy capturing images that surprise me. What I mean by this specifically is when a photo first appears to have captured a moment that is not particularly special – yet upon further inspection - it then proves to portray INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 19


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to portray something truly surreal. Such instances are quite rare as they come and go way too quickly for my eye to detect while still managing to make it into the frame. This has happened to me maybe three times in my life and although it is unfortunate that there is no use in looking for such moments, it just makes me that much more anxious to see what types of things will find their way into future photographs. AML: When asked ‘what's next?’ you jokingly replied “photography, aka broke.” Care to elaborate? TA: This question in particular haunts me due to my current life situation as a college senior who is less than two months away from graduating. All I can hope that is in store for me next is that I am able to pursue a career path in a field that I am truly passionate about. Part of me of course would love to be a photographer, but I also realize that getting paid to photograph anything I want is not exactly a reasonable aspiration. I know that in order to figure this out I just need to sit down and think about all of the things that I potentially want to do with my life (which definitely includes photography), and then to figure out what ways I can incorporate these interests into a practical reality. Even if I wind up doing something that has nothing to do with photography, I still fully intend on photographing as much as possible. AML: FOKUS offers no limit to what art can be about. So, Tessa, how would you complete the phrase "art is..." TA: Art is taking something that was already there and showing it in a unique way.

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Ascend

by Atiba T. Edwards

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Untitled

by Kira Pearson

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Untitled

by Kira Pearson

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Untitled

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Girls

by Kira Pearson

Kira Pearson is an actor, filmmaker, and visual artist. She is from Los Angeles and loves living in Brooklyn. www.kirapearson.com 30 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


Four Seasons in Kyoto

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by Christian Ericson

spring like cherry blossoms Daigoji autumn now maple delicious yellow inside Momoyama hydrangeas in summer rice cypress and fresh pine silk pasanias camellias violet oak meditates by Fujinom winter we will slumber under Shima no Bentensan dream in a crimson earth

Christian Ericson was born in San Francisco, and grown in New England. He has read at the KGB Bar, Bowery Poetry Club, & other NYC venues. He also is a visual artist & designer whose work has been shown internationally. www.brightmoments.org INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 31


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Color and Light

by Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler I am a New York City based urban photographer, and am particularly fascinated by the city after dark. I relish the night and am intrigued by the way light seems to try to escape from the darkness - a kind of light that produces sharp contrasts, unexpected shadows, and unusual tones. With my photography I aim to capture the vitality and radiance of the night by integrating and juxtaposing extremes of texture, light and color in unique and evocative ways. 32 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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Human Toll. 2011.

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Glow Manhattan, glow. 2012.

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Like a Wildfire. 2011.

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Barely Earthly. 2012.

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Untitled. 2011. Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler is a freelance urban photographer focusing on street photography, night photography and portraiture. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at Columbia University. Tessa lives and studies in Washington Heights, NYC. Her portfolio can be viewed at www.tessabeligue.com. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 41


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FOLDS

by Kristine Palma

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Folds. Watercolor on Paper. Kristine is a poet who hopped on board the academic train. She’s currently finishing her Masters in Women’s Studies at San Diego State University. Contact: palmakristine@gmail.com. lmnopalma.wordpress.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 43


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Play in Prospect Park by Gail Ressler

Gail is a professional Interior Designer and Universal Design Advocate; frequent taveler and a lover of Brooklyn. Gail's creative endeavors include photography, collage, painting and writing. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 45


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one, 2013. Acrylics on paper. 6 x 8 in.

one and ONE

by Simone Frame

These pieces consider our state of separation (represented by the 1st painting, one) vs. interconnection (represented by the 2nd painting, ONE). It draws parallels between colors that merge and blend as well as waves of the ocean that cannot be teased apart and how in both of these metaphors for ourselves, the boundaries become blurred and there is a oneness that that prevails.

Creativity is one of the most overlooked spiritual expressions. Finally refusing the idea of a right way to create, Simone began to paint, draw, write, connect, or tear apart to express what she experienced in meditation and prayer. lifeasawave.wordpress.com 46 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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ONE, 2013. Acrylics on paper. 6 x 8 in.

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Hand Eye Coordination by AuksOne

Hand Eye Coordination. 2011. Aerosol, 15 x12 in.

Auks is a modern age multimedia Renaissance artist who's style is heavily rooted in Hip Hop culture. Originally from Bakersfield California, Auks moved to New York to put his real skills to the test and pursue his art full time. 48 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


Who Can Block Your Blessing

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by Stephanie Winbush

Who can block your blessing, Is it you or someone else, God is waiting on you with open arms, You need to get aligned with God so you can receive yours, Time to get focused on him, Stay on the straight and narrow, Don’t get distracted by Satan’s tricks, As you get closer and closer to your blessing, You will be tested and tried by the enemy, Fear is not of God so don’t be scared, Be obedient to God by reading and staying in the word, God loves you and wants only the best for you, He sees you as a precious treasure in his eyesight, God I can see your light shining bright as ever, Serve God wholeheartedly, God knows your heart, I want to enter the kingdom of God on his terms and no one else’s.

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Brown

by Anirudh 'Eka' Dhullipalla

His toe floats closer to God than his grandmother’s prayers have ever reached. He is flying before he can walk. He is crossing oceans before he has taken his first step. His tummy grumbles. The other airplane passengers fill the cabin with the smell of his grandmother’s cooking. They are like spices in the belly of an adventurous bird that must be cursing at itself for gorging on Indian food before traveling half way across the world. The pungent pilgrims are just as eager as the bird to be defecated onto America: the land of the water fountain.

and a reflection of her sleeping grandson on her hazel eyes. Is he really the reincarnation of her son? If Hinduism wasn’t written on her forehead, she could have easily passed for an Italian. Her husband, on the other hand, could have passed for an aboriginal. He had curly black hair, big south Indian eyes and a smile that played Simonsays with everyone else’s. He replaced his dark hairy chest and dhoti with a white buttoned down shirt and grey slacks. Sitting next to the cab driver in the front, he faced an obnoxiously large sticker placed on the windshield of the elephant god Ganesh. Ironically, Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, was partially blocking his view as he attempted to survey a city that has changed so much since he had moved there so many years ago.

Enveloped in a milky moonlight, they sail through hills of cotton searching for comfort. Through the window the baby’s mother watches the moon run with them, perhaps because it is also not full. The city’s population had surely swollen beyond the point of obesity. She is worried again. Did she make Around them moving things of all the right choice? Do they have rice types defied spatial dimensions in America? Will they see a better as they inched over a narrow life? Doubt is the irritating reminder bridge like cholesterol squeezing that God keeps secrets. Even from through an artery. The baby’s the faithful. grandfather could feel the city’s blood pressure rising with each beat She caught this current bout of of a malnourished hand against the concern from her parents in the taxi window. ride to the airport. Their anxiety was understandable. Her father rarely Their cab was a Hindustani left the state and her mother rarely Ambassador. It was hardly a luxury left the kitchen. For them traveling car, but, in those days, being in a car from their ancestral villages to was a luxury. So beggars followed the state capital was like leaving them like desert eyes follow heavy footprints on the moon. clouds, as they sluggishly treaded Now their daughter and grandson through a thick mixture of honks, were about to look down on the burning filth, laughs, engines, clouds. So despite the lack of air cows, yells, chatter, barks, spices, conditioning in the cab they wore monkeys, carts of fresh mangos, attire suitable for their progeny’s radio tunes, incense, and too many ascension. Her mother wrapped her prayers. All of it competed to dance fair skin in a lush green Mysore silk with every sense and sensibility as sari. She wore a red butu from a if choreographed by a Bollywood Vishnu temple and white ash from director. a Siva temple on her wrinkled brow Anirudh ‘Eka’ Dhullipalla is a poet born in India and raised in the US. Eka is a spoken word poet, writer, and an amateur programmer. You can pacify him with a good cup of chai. www.tooomanyjames.com 50 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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The bridge they crawled over was created before it was planned; as if all of the pieces just didn’t fit together. Like most of the third world, it was designed by the God of survival and he is an industrious engineer. In his view all of the pieces can fit together; they just need some minor adjustments. From across the ravine a tall European church watched as daily traffic jammed rebellious pieces into place.

too dark to play. They were already learning that in a society, which often denies its own sexuality, blame is too frequently placed upon a woman for the crimes committed against her if she does not find shelter before nightfall. They knew that if they didn’t take a stand now, there would be nothing left to fight for.

“Get out the way!” yelled the bowler. “Not until you let us play!” responded the girl in the tattered yellow shalwar. She was leading a protest against gender discrimination in the neighborhood cricket game. The boys had very little patience, but the girls lost theirs a long time ago. The sun was setting and soon it would be

The family will zoom from the airport across a gray bridge into a gray city never noticing the river below. It will seem so lonely without villagers massaging its sides with dirty clothes and pilgrims climbing over each other just to die at its banks. In India, rivers are gods. In America, rivers are in the way. But what more could a pilgrim want?

As the arguing commenced, one child turned her face towards the on looking church. Her eyes shined The poor bridge suffered from like two little mirrors, which the sclerosis. Cracks formed along its foreign spectator avoided peering curve like the ones that will form into. The building preferred to focus on the baby’s mother’s frown left on the seekers busily swarming by his father’s wedding ring: their around her. Disguised as monks, marriage just needed some minor merchants, conquerors, slaves, and adjustments. refugees, they seeped into this city from every place and every time to In contrast to the bridge, the stake a claim on what cannot be church seemed immaculate. It conquered. Some have left their towered above the neighboring mark on the wall reeking of urine Indian buildings as if to trumpet at the edge of the slum, where the its superior genetics– clearly images of a cross, a swastik, a star engineered by a God with higher and crescent, and many others can standards. Surveying this poor be found. (The authorities painted backward country with the intention them to stop people from peeing on of saving it, the church shifted its the wall as part of an initiative to attention down below the bridge. potty train a nation.) India always has a way of reminding But no matter what their flavor you that there are people below you. is, these are desert people. Lost pilgrims searching for a place where The slum teemed with a kind of life no one is thirsty. that grows in the cracks of broken promises. And soon a few will be fortunate enough to leak out of a bird and into In a dirty gully, a group of boys were the land of the water fountain. In playing cricket. The bowler threw a North American airport a man’s a stolen ball with his right hand. brown hands would be waiting to His left hand was cut off so that cradle his son. Created before they when he begged it could pull on were planned, the little boy would the conscience of the privileged. spend his childhood surveying every A group of girls marched into the crack and blemish on those palms center of the game. like a foreign spectator.

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Even in the land of plenty, there is never enough. But far away, under a third world bridge, more people than drops of clean water went unnoticed. Each one carrying a unique spice, they swirled, clashed, danced, and, eventually, melted into Brown. Brown People on Brown earth that live in Brown walled huts with Brown thatched roofs. A Brown that has been steeping for millennia. The church creaked back in the breeze to avoid the scent like a colonizer poorly hiding his repulsion for a native’s offering, but its attention was dragged to the native’s daughter staring from the slum. As if her eyes carried death, no matter how much the church refused to acknowledge them, it could not escape their lure. In those two little mirrors, the church could see how it leaned on the bridge like an old man too dignified for his cane. Apparently it was never actually standing, but falling with as much grace as possible. And soon, it too would dissolve into the brown like fresh milk poured into a pot of chai. ‘A tea stained city’ thought the little boy’s grandfather. From inside the cab the city looked like it was tinted in sepia. Apparently the ambassador was screening an antique film in its windows and the old man had seen this same tragic story too many times before. It’s set in a place too familiar with life to know its value. Endless fields of fertile Brown for flags to blossom. Claiming them. Green for Muslims. Red for Communists. Saffron for Hindus. Crosses for Christians. Flags planted on a muddy battlefield. We are not people, just a brown to be conquered. Impatiently, the man glanced down at his wristwatch and then back through the windshield. Beyond the sticker of Lord Ganesh, he watched time hesitantly weave through a river of brown obstacles. In India, people are in the way. So he remained trapped in this 52 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE

theatre that constantly replayed the scene where his son is killed in an ambassador just like this one. “I’m getting out!” thought his daughter looking out the taxi window with her son tightly in her arms. “I’m getting out!” thinks his daughter looking out the airplane window with her son tightly in her arms. She doesn’t notice the illegal immigrant hiding on the back of his little hand. A third world moth snuck in and camouflaged its tea stained paper wings on his light brown skin. She is busy vigilantly watching the world outside that schemes to hurt him. “After all, sons don’t hurt themselves,” thought her father. At least that’s what the police report confirmed. Officially, immediately after the accident, the driver scrambled out of the car and dissolved into the brown world outside. Her mother still prays. Hasn’t life proven to her that Karma is the only law in this country that cannot be swayed? “It’s their fault!,” declares the feminist under the bridge. She points at brown children as the sun collapses onto the horizon. From a bird soaring west, a mother watches the sun’s final breath disappear with the twilight as its ashes are scattered below. Pieces of its skin glow in broken bangles that litter a dirt road with constellations, cosmic dust in the footprints of children. Their little brown bodies become shadows soon to submerge into night. She is worried again. Will they see a better life? Amidst honks, yells and evening prayers, one small voice cries, “Guys, stop fighting, we don’t have that much time left!” Where there is uncertainty, there is possibility.


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The Signtaure. By Michael Alan

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Capturing Life by Michael Alan

My work is an ongoing series of transcribed transmissions from another place. I am energy in a human body. My hand and mind are reading and reacting to energy. The energy around me, in people and the world, everything is translated into the paper, on the body, into music and then transmitted again and again, in all medias, no prejudice. Just like a photographer shoots and the light is then transformed into an image. The outcome is about capturing lIfe.

Michael Alan, a native New York artist, was born in the summer of 1977, in Bushwick during the New York City blackout. His work has been featured in 9 New York solo shows, over 200 group shows, and over 200 Living Installations. 54 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE


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Gather, process, bubble. By Michael Alan

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Candice Print. By Michael Alan

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Many Things. By Michael Alan

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INSIGHT: COLOR AND LIGHT

Color Work

by Jordan Kifer

Liann Kaye is a multimedia artist that does a lot of work in the film area. Read on to gain insight into her world. Jordan Kifer: How do you see someone’s talent for their craft and their training or studying intersecting? Do you feel like it’s important for someone, especially going into filmmaking or production, to have some kind of formal training? Or, do you feel like the skills can be acquired in other ways? Liann Kaye: In some ways ignorance can really help your creativity. Often times when trying to come up with an idea, you know how difficult it is to do or have seen somebody do it, so, you might change your narrative if you are afraid of the technicality of it. For instance, for Theo Katzman’s video we just did, I had the idea of an ex-boyfriend running through all the posters, but I didn’t have any conceptual plan as how best to make that happen. It can be more empowering to write the story and then figure out how you’re going to do it, later. Film is interesting because there are a bunch of different talents that come to the table in every production, which is why I like it. My friend Connie says that the culmination of every art form— music , acting, writing, costume design - can be showcased in a film. These baseline traits of film make it important to know what you can’t do as far as your own personal training; e.g. I don’t often touch the camera when I’m on set. I have to trust in folks’ abilities as they fall into their respective rolesyou have your editor, your director, your cinematographer, and I usually leave the lighting and the camera stuff up to my cinematographer, the very talented Taylor Stanton [my business partner]. Knowing where you fall short and when to get somebody that can take care of that area so you can focus on something 58 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE

else is a vital part of filmmaking. JK: You started your production company Paper Frames Productions when you were in college. What was that experience like starting something in college and how has having your own way of producing things helped you out creatively? LK: Paper Frames started when my sister and I were both at the University of Michigan. She was doing open mics all over the place and I would always go to her shows. My friends Tom and Mark, film guys with cameras always in hand, would go with me, shoot her and other performances, then post the videos on YouTube. Soon after, other people in the music community began asking if we would come shoot their shows, and even since leaving Michigan, I am finding that folks are seeking my production company out as a filmmaking resource. At its inception, my company really just felt like a great in with the musicians in my environment, shooting acapella groups and dance companies, theater people, etc.- I thought, ‘Oh, I can get into this concert for free and shoot this video and I don’t care about the money.’ Once I made a Facebook page, having that umbrella and formal name [PaperFrames], people knew where to go. To top it off, Char’s notoriety definitely helped me as well. Even now, actually, especially now, nobody is more surprised than me that am a small business ownerI mean, I have an LLC. JK: Do you feel like having your own production company has given you more creative flexibility? LK: Definitely. In the age of the


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internet, the publicity is really great when you have a site where people can go and see your work. The visibility on Facebook is ideal because we can update people on the projects we’re doing, put up pictures and behind the scenes clips. I think keeping on top of having an image and a portfolio helps people find out about who you are and, if they like what you’re doing, to contact you. Going back to the question about working with friends.. this definitely helped lead PaperFrames to success. First of all, I think everyone was pretty astounded at the talent that’s come out of the U of M circle. Particularly the graduating class of Char’s generation with Darren, Theo and her, and the whole StarKid thing. I think to be able to work with your friends is a creative gift. Having people around who know who I am, especially when I’m putting out a new video or asking to do a video for them, is really helpful. In return, I am constantly supporting those around me right back. I’m following all of the musicians that came out of that scene (since graduation) and keeping up to date with their EPs and seeing what singles I like and approaching them if I feel like someone’s about to get really popular. As far as business goes, I’m still trying to figure it out, but it’s actually not too bad—my life. I still have a day job, which affords saves me from not having to worry about paying the rent while also being able to commit myself to producing music videos. I do think the direction the company will go in will to begin doing commercials while having music videos as our passion project. Seriously, the best part is, for all of this and what’s to come, I just don’t know! [laughs]. JK: How does color and light impact you? LK: I think color and light can carry as much emotional subtext

as music, dialogue or any other element in a film. In my latest project, I was thinking a lot about heartbreak and memorieswhich are very internal experiencesand what those feelings might look like. On a very basic level, a dark lighting design might communicate fear, depression, chilliness. While softer, brighter lighting might indicate peace, joy, etc... I think heartbreak is so unique because unlike other types of pain, you often dip into joyful moments and then realize that those very same memories are the ones that are hurting you. We shot some intimate moments in a bedroom that tried to capture that paradox, and as a result we chose a soft lighting design that imitated a sunlit bedroom in the morning. You have that joyful image of waking up holding the person you love. the soft light kind read like the murkiness of a dream. And yet because this is a memory our character was no longer able to have in reality, we chose a chilling pale-blue color scheme that affected both the light, and set design. Just as major and minor chords inherently register as pain, pleasure and everything in between when we listen to music, I think the right combination of light and color can have that same emotional spectrum that can affect people subconsciously, yet universally. JK: Complete the phrase “Art Is…” LK: Art is what feelings look and sound like. There isn’t really a concrete definition.

Jordan Kifer is a 22-year old recent graduate who currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI. She is driven by the belief that everyone is an artist and has something beautiful to share.

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Hole, 2012. Mixed media

Sketch Color

by Filipa Silva Art Projects

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Equation, 2010. Mixed media

Filipa Silva is a Portuguese visual artist who recently finished his academic studies in 2009 about fashion and textile design. He has started to focus and learn more about other kind of arts and found himself exploring Photography and Illustration as his way of expression. One of Filipa's goals is to grow as an artist as much as a person. www.filipasilvaprojects.daportfolio.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 61


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Twins, 2010 - 2013. Mixed media

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5Pointz Spirit

by Jordan Kifer

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There’s something spiritual about 5Pointz—the sky is absurdly blue and the colors so electric they seem to vibrate. This mecca/haven of public art represents the best of what’s possible when art is created without fear of boundaries and fills me with motivation not only to create but to create better; to create without a sense of limits. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 65


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My Elite Centric logo

by Dolly Martinez aka Elite Centric

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Dolly Martinez was born in the New York City area. Along with her Brooklyn roots, and rich Mexican heritage, Dolly developed an eccentric and conscious outlook on art, allowing her to converting dreams onto canvas. www.facebook.com/ItsEliteCentric INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 67


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INSIGHT magazine's next theme: "BODIES" August 14, 2013

We are looking for artwork! Will you share yours? send your art to: insightsubmit@gmail.com

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INSIGHT magazine: Color and Light